Ah I’m missing our trips away in the motorhome. Hot Stuff is still too poorly to move far from his trusty chair. I have to rely on reminiscence rather than ‘now’ moments filled with travels afar. Being largely confined to barracks is teaching me patience. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.

So here’s a picture from the summer to illustrate today’s post and bring back those happy memories. Since lockdown Hot Stuff has been brewing our own ale. I swear that we’re not tanking it. Just one or two pints a night at the most.. It’s not even a daily habit but we still have amassed a fair old tasting menu of homebrew. We even set up our own pub at the back of Klaus the Knaus as this picture attests.

I urge anyone who loves a pint of the good stuff to have a go at making your own. It’s not just the cost saving that’s appealing. The cheapest pints works out at about 30p. If we’re pushing the boat out with a fancy kit, brewing sugar or fancy hops the price might soar to about double that. What’s really great is the variety of beer that can be brewed. Believe me we’re tried a few. Pilsners, IPAs, stout, Scottish heavy, wheat beer, porter, ruby ale and yes lager. What I’ve learnt is the name refers to a process and does not have to be the nasty fizzy stuff served on tap in some pubs.

Purists will use grain but Hot Stuff has stuck to the homebrew kits. He can’t be arsed with boiling up grain. It’s a bit of a pfaff. But sometimes he adds different ingredients to change the flavour like different varieties of hops. It’s all good and often better than real ale at the pub. Trust me! I’m far more of a beer connoisseur than a lover of wine.

The latest favourite has oak chips and a rum flavour. It’s such a nice pint to sit by the fire with in these colder months And there’s a final thing to bear in mind that might persuade some of you to invest in a bucket, a keg and maybe a hydrometer. A beer shortage is predicted this Christmas. That’s a far more important crisis than a lack of toilet rolls!

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